The Slovenia Times

Lowest pay going up in several industries

BusinessIndustry & Agriculture

The lowest paid workers in several private sector industries such as construction, paper and printing will see their base pay rise by between 7% and nearly 15% under collective bargaining agreements. Talks for pay rises to offset for rising inflation are still under way in some other industries.

The agreements, reached by trade unions and employers, also entail an increase in work-related reimbursements of expenses, such as commuting and meal allowances, the Pergam group of trade unions announced on 7 December.

The deals are based on a long-term model under which the lowest base pay rises with inflation in the current year and partly in line with productivity growth in the individual industry in the previous year.

Base pay in the paper industry will increase by 7% and that in the printing industry by 14.8% from 1 January 2023, while a 12% base pay rise was agreed in the construction industry.

Daily meal allowances are being raised to €6 or a little more.

Meanwhile talks are yet to get under way in the publishing industry where unions are seeking a 16.8% rise in base pay.

In late November, changes to the collective bargaining agreement were signed in retail after the trade union threatened to stage a strike in December, the busiest time of the year for the sector.

Lowest base pay in the first five brackets there will rise by over 36%, and by 2% in the sixth and seventh. Shop assistants, who are in the fourth bracket, will have their monthly pay raised to €950 gross from 1 January, up from €698. Meal and commuting allowances are being raised as well.

The Chamber of Commerce said the new lowest base pay in the industry would now be among the highest in the private sector where collective bargaining is in place.

However, Ladi Rožič, secretary-general of the Trade Union of Workers in Trade Sector, said they were unhappy about the outcome because they wanted salespersons no longer having to get an extra so that their base matches the minimum wage. Talks will resume next year.

Other industries, such as the paper industry too will continue talks on a new wage model where unions want the lowest base pay to equal the minimum wage and correspondingly higher salaries higher up.

This year the statutory minimum wage in Slovenia is set at just over EUR 778 net, but it will rise next year. A calculation of the minimum cost of living, one of the factors included along with inflation, in October suggested the minimum wage is to be in a range between 804 and 938 euros net.

An estimated 40,000 people in Slovenia get paid extra on top of their pay to earn the minimum wage. The Labour Ministry would like to change that so the lowest pay brackets are raised to the minimum wage. It will initially seek to do so in the public sector.


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